Sunday 2 September 2012

Quiet Moments Beside the Eure

The Eure is the left tributary of the Seine, upon which the town of Anet is situated. As a young bride, Diane often rode beside the river, and even swam in it. When Diane and Henri renovated the chateau, they had the course of the river altered so it flowed through the grounds. 

The result was an idyllic setting in which they relax by the edge of the river and enjoy each other's company. 

The Grisaille Windows of Anet

Grisaille (pronounced GREES-eye) is a technique of painting in monochrome, often grey, brown (brunaille) or green (verdaille).  It was used not only in painting, but also in architecture, including stained glass windows. The technique emerged during the 12th century and reached a pinnacle in the 14th century.

Grisaille is accomplished by painting on light glass using a mixture of ground glass, ground lead and other substances. This mixture is  vitrifiable (able to be fired and turned into glass). Diane de Poitiers commissioned windows done with the technique.

In 1548, Nicolas Beaurain completed a set of these windows for the great hall at Anet.

In 1555 another of his designs was completed for Diane’s bedroom, shown to the far left of the photo below. Note the addition of colour: